NEWRY – Maine Handicapped Skiing, a year-round adaptive recreation program for people with physical disabilities, is conducting its 19th annual ski-a-thon, Saturday, March 20, at Sunday River Ski Resort and the Sunday River Inn and Cross Country Ski Center.

The ski-a-thon raised more than $265,000 in pledges in 2003, attracting more than 650 skiers and riders along with 125 volunteers.

To participate in the event, teams of five people raise a minimum of $600 in pledges. Each team member receives a free lift ticket or trail pass courtesy of Sunday River Ski Resort or the Cross County Ski Center, breakfast, lunch and dinner, an event T-shirt and a fully loaded goodie bag. Skiers will also be treated to the rhythm and blues sounds of George Leh and His Band at the evening entertainment.

Maine Handicapped Skiing, supported by many sponsors, continues to offer free lessons in downhill and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing to more than 250 participants yearly.

Downhill skiing and snowboarding lessons are provided seven days a week at Sunday River Ski Resort and on weekends at Sugarloaf/USA. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing lessons are provided Wednesday through Friday at the Sunday River Inn and Cross Country Ski Center. During the summer MHS offers adaptive lessons in canoeing, kayaking, hand cycling and golf.

For more information on the ski-a-thon, call MHS at 1-800-639-7770 or go online at www.skimhs.org and click on ski-a-thon.